Getting To Know Wags Capital While Speculating On A Brewing Oligarch Battle

by Travis Mateer

Before we get to know the investor group connected to Aaron Wagner, I should put the commenter who brought this entity to my attention into context, because I think an oligarch battle might be brewing in Zoom Town.

Here’s “Cash Hoyt” using his gmail (accidentally?) to make the following comment:

I recalled the email address because Hoyt was taking a different, more tactless approach (while using a different name) when I was writing about Nick Checota’s family background.

Here’s Cash Hoyt commenting as “olbossy” in April of last year:

At the time of this comment, “olbossy” was defending Wisconsin transplant, Nick Checota. Is there some kind of relationship between these two people? I assume so, because why else would someone waste their time commenting on a blog unless they had some sort of vested interest in the person being scrutinized.

Whatever the reason, I am VERY appreciative that Hoyt drew my attention to Wags Capital because WOW, there’s so much FUN STUFF to bring attention to, like the CORE VALUES, which includes this:

The authentic investor this image is allegedly describing is Aaron Wagner, the Canadian transplant who played linebacker and wants the dinks and he/shes in Missoula to fuck off. Here’s a screen shot of this LION of a man, followed by a nice description:

Mr. Wagner is the Founder and Managing Partner of Wags Capital, a specialized small cap boutique investment firm. Mr. Wagner has a diverse background in real estate, lending, debt, and private equity/venture investment, having participated full time in the industry since 2009. Mr. Wagner is extremely diligent in his pursuit of opportunity and was able to capitalize tremendously on the last recessed market, building multiple companies that specialized in the acquisition of distressed assets, repositioning, stabilization and resale of special assets.

Mr. Wagner and his team have been intricately involved in all aspects of the business including Equity and Debt sourcing, lending, consultation, principal project development, and many other Real Estate specific roles. Mr. Wagner also led his companies to a number of large acquisitions and investments outside of the real estate sector, including successful companies in industries such as health technology, food and beverage, media, pharmaceuticals, and consumer products/e-commerce.

Yes, The Wags is into all kinds of shit, so you might be financially supporting this LION among sheep already. For example, yesterday I checked out a Wags Capital Brand that has a franchise here in Missoula and the owners I spoke with seemed like nice folks who immediately sought distance between their local franchise and the capital investors/corporate office, which is based in Utah.

I explained that I abhor cancel culture, I respect those down the food chain trying to make a living, and that my dad likes their cookies. Also, if there was actually a way to reach out to the corporate office without pretending to be interested in franchising, then I wouldn’t have had to worry these business owners about the woke mob coming to cancel them.

Speaking of cancel culture, how does the Montana Organization of Realtors feel about Aaron Wagner’s transphobic attacks? I mean, isn’t that WORSE than the “hate speech” (read: pulling out of a lunch program that pushed LGBT material on his congregation) that Pastor Brandon Huber is being punished for by the woke fascists?

To make sure Pastor Brandon’s lawyer knows about this opportunity MOR has to somehow flex for SOCIAL JUSTICE (if they want to be consistent), I gave Matthew Monforton a call. Mental note: text him a link after this posts, Travis.

If you think I’m the only one curious how MOR might react to The Wags, here’s a screenshot of a local Instagram meme account that got me thinking about this angle of the controversy:

There are SO MANY fun aspects of this unforced error on the real estate gridiron (to mix my sports metaphors) by The Wags that I have to extend a big THANK YOU to this Utah-based developer and cookie investor for a beautifully timed fuckup that will only reinvigorate the local anger that NEVER WENT AWAY after the strategic arrest of an activist and a convenient pandemic shutting out locals from criticizing their elected officials in person.

There will definitely be more to report on this controversy as it evolves, so stay tuned here for my unvarnished take and THANKS FOR READING!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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9 Responses to Getting To Know Wags Capital While Speculating On A Brewing Oligarch Battle

  1. webdoodle says:

    Great reporting! Other things to think about in regards to this growing situation:

    Checota got his support by using his concert venues to bring in liberal bands to do fund raisers for liberal political candidates (Tester, Engen, etc). This of course ensured he’d get a seat at the Missoula high table, which he used in to get public funding for his Fox\Triangle Hotel. Ironically the heavy handed Missoula County Health Dept plandemic nearly bankrupted him when they locked down his overcrowded venues, and he had to pull out of his agreement with the Missoula City Council.

    Big Sky Brewery was doing great concerts at their new concert center next to their airport brewery before Checota doubled down on his Top Hat/Wilma concert venues and built the Milltown/KettleHouse Amphitheater. However, he didn’t stop there. He wanted to make an example of Big Sky, and slowly stole all of their previous headliners. Why was he adamant about stamping out them as competition? Clearly there was enough room in Western Montana for both venues, as they were both selling out.

    Both venues have different vibes and qualities, but I don’t think either have a distinct advantage in terms of attracting crowds. Big Sky has multiple food vendors, where KettleHouse only has Top Hats food at high prices and limited menu. KettleHouse has permanent food/beer facilities where Big Sky does it with tents/trailers. KettleHouse has limited paid parking, where Big Sky has free street parking and some public bus (Mountain Line) availablitiy. Big Sky is in an industrial park without many residential neighbors, KettleHouse has both residential and industrial neighbors. Both venues exist in Missoula City Islands outside traditional city limits.

    In closing, if conservative political operatives in Western Montana want to make a dent in liberal policies perhaps they should learn from the successes of Checota. Bring in concervative bands/performers and give a portion of the proceeds to local concervatives running for public office. Also, even if you don’t reside in Missoula and can’t vote on city matters (but do work, shop and recreate here), you can still influence Missoula politics by supporting conservative politicians.

    • says:

      How would any of missoula’s problems be solved with conservative leadership? They’d be doing the exact same thing as the current “liberal” leadership, you’d just support it.


      Nah dog, rich people all bad. They’re going to suck this town dry and all us who grew up here are going to move to butte/helena/great falls, and then the same thing will happen there.

      And then the snow pack will be gone and we’ll be fighting over water, but that’s something you have to live in reality to believe, so we can’t discuss that here.

  2. Concern Troll says:

    So your saying mentioning Crumbl Cookies as the company financed by the WagsCapital would be cancel culture? Didn’t you threaten them on Twitter?

  3. webdoodle says:

    Are you related to the MSM Cabal? Your false cause tactics are eerily similar. Take your logical fallacies elsewhere.

    I never said liberals bad and conservatives good, nor did I even imply it. We do need more conservatives on the city council though, to balance out the skewed political slant. I’d rather see diversity of ideas, than restrict it to either political extremes narrow view.

  4. Travis: I’m setting aside my minor disagreements with tangential aspects of this piece, to say YEAH, GOOD JOB! reporting on who Wagner is. Did you read David Erickson’s article today? Exploded the supply-side mythology the wealthy developers spew, when they contend that a development frenzy will solve Missoula’s housing crisis. A PEW Charitable Trust researcher told this to a MT legislative committee:

    ” ‘Rents are the strongest predictor of homelessness,’ explained Alex Horowitz of the nonprofit Pew Charitable Trusts [to a MT legislative committee.]. ‘It’s markets that are experiencing rent growth that see high levels of homelessness. Specifically in Montana, we see the 14th-highest homelessness rate in the country and the fourth-largest increase (from 2019 to 2020).’ ”

    It seems that everything I said in my City Council campaign is being corroborated following my being trounced. Yep, we’re very fortunate that Wagner shot off his mouth.

    Webdoodle: it’s not your purported liberal/conservative biases that are problematic, it’s the acceptance of a “liberal vs. conservative” paradigm as being the operative dynamic. Maintaining that narrative is a primary objective of corporate press such as Lee papers (notwitstanding a few good reporters such as David Erickson).

    The boutique liberals on our City Council, and Mayor Engen, are portrayed as “left leaning,” and all conservatives are thrown into same camp, when they are dissimilar.

    * Lining the pockets of multistate development consortiums and subsidizing their projects that expolit our housing crisis, ripping off hudreds of milions of public funds in incredibly wasteful transactions that entrich said developers, under the guise of “affordable housing” that almost never is, waging relentless economic cleansing and classs warfare against the common folks of Missoula, is NOT A LIBERAL VALUE. It most certainly is not a “leftist” tenet!

    * And preserving historical institutions, natural environs and affordable home ownership IS A WESTERN CONSERVATIVE VALUE.

    The boutique libs on the Council, and the Mayor, have by and large practiced neoliberal policies that benefit the ruling class and disempower the working class. The politically illiterate populace (a consequence of neoliberal education) drinks the boutique liberal kool-aid and believes the propaganda (“we had no choice…”; “TIF gives us leverage over these projects and provides affiordable housing…;” “we’re liberals because we adopt resolutions condemning bigotry…;” yadda yadda yadda).

    With that fake dichotomy of “liberal vs. conservatfive,” our populace is diverted from:

    (1) the real housing crisis here, which is the majority of our residents who rent and are being driven away and into the streets while more than 40% of our residents derive 100% of their incomes from collecting rents & dividends — most of them now coming here to take advantage of the gentrification and low-wage-slave service economy that treats them like Thurston Howell III;

    (2) the real battle lines, which are the carpetbaggers, investors, big capital pension funds, commercial banksters and mutistste development consortia, fronted by their local government silent parters, vs. the common people of Missoula. It’s very effective strategy for preventing class consciousness, popular organizing, and change … BUT the sleeping giant that the Engen/Checota chicanery awakened two years ago, is (thaks to Wagner) waking up again.

    As for newly elected alderman David Carlino, don’t make the mistake of lumping him in with the boutique liberals. He knows the score.

    Let’s restore the big alliance we had until the lockdown happened. I have an idea for a local ballot measure that I believe would greatly arrest the advance of the gentrifiers.

  5. Djinn&tonic says:
    For anybody that doesn’t believe v2k (voice 2 skull) exists.

  6. Djinn&tonic says:

    Aaron Wagner on Missoulian project: “We are still moving forward, nothing is being stopped or even delayed.”

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  8. Pingback: Wags Hands Off To Bergquist To Build The Archie, The Belle, And The Cam | Zoom Chron Blog

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